A Terrible Poem About My Last Fishing Trip

Awake

More night than morning

All was ready the day before

Long hours on dark abandoned roads

Body on automatic as thoughts flow like the river they are about

Arrive before the glow of the morning sun

Black rocky trails and the roar of unseen water my only companion

Dim light finally filters through the trees

The gorge illuminated

A chill is felt through the waders as I slowly slide in

Buttery golden browns and silvery pink rainbows occupy the mind as I make the first cast of the day

Beautiful drift in complicated currents through likely lie but no takers

Next cast the fly carefully crafted the day before alights on a downed limb

A sharp flick of the wrist and a roll of the line should set it free

SNAP

The rod tip breaks

My favorite rod

My

Favorite

Rod

On my second cast

On

My

Second

Cast

My head hangs low

I stomp back down the rocky path

At the car I realize my backup was left

Long drive home with the sun in my eyes to screaming children and a grumpy wife

Entire bottle of cheap red wine to dull it all

Don’t think it worked

Second cast

Second

Mother

Fucking

Cast

Maybe I should take up golf

Maybe

I

Should

Take up

Golf

No

Golf’s dumb

 

 

At Least I Know Where I Stand

I was helping my oldest child study for a test recently when I casually mentioned that I never had to learn the particular lesson he was studying. He looked at me and, in a tone that I believe can only be produced by incredibly pretentious nine years old snots, said, “Only the kids in the gifted and talented program learn this, so…”

Well,” I said. “I used to be in the gifted and talented program when I was in school and we didn’t go over this then.”

“What? You were in the GT program when you were in school?”

“Yup.”

“Huh? I didn’t know you were smart.” I think it was the complete sincerity in this comment that made me wish I was fabulously rich so I had a will that was worth writing him out of.

“Believe it or not some people still think I’m pretty intelligent.”

“Really?” More sincerity. “You don’t even have a job. What’s the point of being smart if you don’t use it for anything?”

That was the moment I decided that my oldest son would never be my favorite.

Never.

Two

I’ve been asked recently by various people why I don’t post much anymore.

Well for those who are interested I’ll let you know and I have to write this quickly so please forgive any run-on sentences, spelling or grammatical errors: see, I’m forced to write this behind the locked door of my bathroom. Waiting for me on the other side of that door is the personification of chaos, or as I usually refer to him “the baby”, who, as of January, has turned two, and has taken the concept of the terrible twos and just ran with it. He is currently repeating the phrase “Daddy poop” at the door and I can’t tell if he’s asking me if I’m pooping or telling me that he has pooped, possibly in his training potty or on the floor.  All day, everyday, I follow this little ball of destruction around making sure he doesn’t hurt himself, others or the steadily decreasing amount of property my family has. The spare time I do have is spent cleaning up after him, trying to repair things he has broken or praying for a few minutes of peace… and I just heard a crash and someone is screaming.

So, yeah, that’s uh… Yeah…

The 4am Train

The tracks are just a little over a mile from my house.

Every morning around 4am a train goes by.

This train, for some reason, believes that it can only go through this part of town if it lays on the whistle/horn/what-ever-you-call-it (I’m not a train person) the entire time.

At 4am every morning the baby hears this train whistle/horn/what-ever-you-call-it, sits up in his bed and loudly announces “TRAIN! TRAIN!”.

Somedays we can get the baby back to sleep.

Somedays we can’t.

I would like to tell everyone what kind of things go through my mind at 4am every morning.

But I won’t.

Because I don’t want to land on some sort of federal watch list.

The Big Talk (or explaining “doing the sex”)

So the other day Demon Spawn came running into the kitchen to tell me that his older brother had decided to make two characters from the Sims game he was playing “do the sex”.

“Do the sex?”

“Yes!” Demon Spawn said enthusiastically. “He’s trying to make them DO! THE! SEXXXXXXXXX!!!!!”

I sat there slightly stunned, trying to think of how to handle the situation, when it occurred to me that there was a good chance that neither Demon Spawn nor his big brother really knew what it meant to actually do the have sex. So I walked into the living room and asked the oldest what he thought “doing the sex” was.

“Kissing and hugging… and stuff?”

“What kind of ‘stuff’?”

“I don’t know…”

“Yup, that’s about it. Don’t make your Sims do that. I’m going to cook dinner.” And that’s how I planed on leaving the conversation until he stumbled upon internet porn.

My wife on the other hand decided, after I told her the story later, that this would be a good opportunity to have the sex talk. The anatomical sex talk. Not the “where babies come from” sex talk, but the “what it physically entails” sex talk. I told her that she was wrong and laid out the internet porn idea which she quickly struck down while also starting a conversation about how it may be time to put the parental locks on all the things.

So the talk it was.

The next day we gathered the two oldest in the livingroom and I let my wife do most of the talking, “So you know where baby’s come from right?”

“Right?”

The oldest finally decided to answer, “Um… Yes? Sex? A man… ? And woman get… together? And, um, do sex? And a part of the man combines with part of the woman,” and then the stuff he understood came out much easier, “and then the egg is fertilized and one cell starts multiplying in the momma’s belly, uh, uterus, and eventually it makes a whole baby that comes out of the vagina.”

“Ok, do you know what having sex actually is?”

At this point in the conversation I thought that I had never been more uncomfortable in my life.

“Kissing and hugging and… stuff?”

At least he’s consistent, I thought.

My wife started again, “Kissing and hugging is part of it…”

“Well that really depends on…”, I was cut off with a look. “Never mind. Go on sweetie, you’re doing great!”

“Anyway, kissing and hugging is part of it, but do you know what the other ‘stuff’ is?”

“No.”

“Well the other stuff… Is… Well the other stuff is the actual act of sex which is… So you know boys have a penis and girls have a vagina? Well… Um…”

I decided to rescue her, “The man puts his penis inside the vagina and that’s how the male and female parts, sperm and egg, get together and make a baby!”

“So, wait… I’m going to have to do THAT!?!?!”

“If you continue to like girls there’s going to come a time when you’re going to really want to do that.”

“So I’m just going to be all like ‘oh look, there’s a vagina, I would like to put my penis in it’?”

And I was wrong earlier because that was most uncomfortable I ever felt in my life…

Video Games: A Rant

What follows an approximant account of the lecture I found myself giving my two oldest children last night. I want to state right now that I have no problem with video games and am actually quite fond of playing them myself, but there’s only so much a dad can take…

No! No! NO!!!

I will NOT get you through the rest of this dungeon!

No I will NOT beat this boss for you!

Do you think I had someone to get me through the hard parts of games when I was a kid?!?!

You think Nana or Grandpa ever beat a boss for me?

No.

No they didn’t.

My generation was the first to have complicated games and we didn’t have parents that knew how to play.

My parents played Pac-man and Pong and pinball!

We didn’t have the luxury of living in a house with someone who’s played games for 25+ years and who knew how video game logic works.

No, when I was a kid, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, we had to figure out how to get through things ourselves dammit!

WE didn’t even have the INTERNET!

Yeah, that’s right! No internet.

Let that shit sink in.

If we were lucky we had a friend who had played before us or we knew someone who knew someone who was able to save up enough money to buy a Nintendo Power magazine that might, MIGHT, have an answer to a question about the game we were playing in it!

When I was a kid, when that old man between the fires in the beginning of Zelda said “take this, it’s dangerous to go alone”, all he gave us was that sword, because we, we were truly alone out there in the shit man.

WE figured the puzzles out ourselves!

To US, every “secret”, be it level, weapon or what have you, was an actual goddam secret that you either stumbled on yourself by chance or you had to research and hunt down  like it was the Ark-of-the-MOTHERFUCKING-COVENANT!

WE DID THAT THAT SHIT OURSELVES! 

WE, WE HAD GAMES THAT NO ONE WE KNEW COULD BEAT!!

WE WERE THE LONELY MOTHERFUCKING WARRIORS OF VIDEO GAMES AND WE ARE BETTER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF IT, NOW STOP ASKING ME TO PLAY YOUR GODDAM GAMES FOR YOU!!!

Um…

I’m sorry, Daddy didn’t mean to…

Please stop crying guys…

I didn’t mean to…

How about I get y’all through those levels and we just don’t tell Momma about this?

Ok?

I… I love you… 

 

One For The New Year

People I know have been asking me recently why I’ve stopped posting. Usually I come up with some bullshit answer like “nothing interesting is happening” or “I’ve been too busy”. Truth be told there are multiple reasons and most have to do with something I’m notoriously uncomfortable with: emotions.

Stupid, stupid emotions.

See, I’ve been avoiding writing anything because I don’t like to talk about feelings. Not real feelings anyway.

I want to write light, funny antidotes about the cute, comical little things my kids do while growing-up. And I want to write light, funny antidotes about the ways kids suck sometimes but it’s all worth it because of…

Well, I guess there’s the problem.

Things have started to feel a lot less light and funny.

I wake up looking forward to bed time. 

I react the same now to one of my children screaming in pain as I do to one of my children laughing hysterically in joy (if you’re wondering, that reaction is indifference (or annoyance depending on how loudly the crying/laughing is)).

I’m morose and generally unpleasant to everyone.

So what I’m trying to say is that I’m becoming, or have become, an unbearable dick.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to read a post written by an unbearable dick. 

But, it is a new year, and as I saw yesterday written over a picture of Robert Downey Jr. rolling his eyes, “It’s Time for that New Year, New Me, bullshit”.

So here’s me taking the first step and admitting that there is a problem, and saying that it’s time for me to start actively trying to stop being so fucking miserable all the time, start writing more often, go fishing more often, stop looking at life like it’s a burden and appreciate it for the love, beauty and all the other mushy emotional shit it provides and maybe lose a few pounds while I’m at it!

And if bootstrapping doesn’t work, there’s always antidepressants.